U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have confirmed the closing of a second temporary holding facility following the swearing in of President Donald Trump. Border apprehension numbers along the southwestern border with Mexico fell in January for the first time in several months.
The Tornillo Temporary Holding Facility suspended operations, effective February 14, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from CBP spokesman Rober Maier. CBP officials opened the facility in November 2016 in response to the surge of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) and Family Unit Aliens (FMUA) apprehensions. It is now being shut down “due to a continual decline in the total number of apprehended and inadmissible alien migrants.”
The processing of migrants at other CBP ports of entry and stations has been reduced to a “manageable level,” Maier stated.
The Tornillo station, located about 40 miles east of El Paso, will be placed in a “warm standby” status in the event it is needed to return to an operational status in the future. He stated basic maintenance, oversight, and 24-hour security will continue at the facility to make sure it is ready if the migrant crossings surge again. It is anticipated CBP could bring this facility, and the recently closed Donna facility, back into fully operational status within a 24-hour period if needed.
Breitbart Texas reported November border figures increased for the fifth consecutive month with a total of 47,214 illegal aliens being apprehended. That number represented a 44 percent increase over November 2015, officials stated.
During the first three months of the fiscal year beginning October 1, the last full quarter of the Obama Administration, CBP officials reported a 109 percent increase in total apprehensions. A total of 136,670 migrants were apprehended during that period.
With the January 20 inauguration of the new president approaching, preliminary numbers for January indicated a drop in apprehensions along the border. CNN reported the decline could possibly be attributed to the “expected tough plans” of President Trump to deal with border security and illegal immigration.
The closure of the Tornillo processing station comes just three days after officials shut down the Donna, Texas, temporary holding facility.
Border Patrol officials moved 150 agents to the Rio Grande Valley Sector in November to help with the surge of migrant apprehensions. Officials have not yet stated if those agents are being returned to their home sectors.
Official numbers for January apprehensions are expected to be released in the next week.